Spend a Couple Hours »Prospect Park Zoo

450 Flatbush Ave, Prospect Park

The city offers so much for babies and kids.. so long as you can manage getting from A to B with baby, a days worth of stuff, stroller and sanity.

But nothing helps get you out of your comfort zone better than a new, adventurous friend, so thanks Rachel and Spike for inviting Van and I on a day long excursion (and our first time with the stroller solo on subway) to the lovely little Prospect Park Zoo!

The park is intimate and small, just like I like them. Kids get to see all the animals pretty close up, and as you can see, Van’s reaction to seeing a real live monkey for the first time was priceless.

There is a great petting zoo complete with food to feed the llamas, sheep and goats as well as a wooden milking station that kids were queuing up for.

The sea lions get center stage in their giant pool and we were there just in time for a feeding, which Van specifically woke up from a hard earned nap to watch.

My favorite though, had to be the Pallas Cat, which looks like a real life version of Grizabella. She was elusive (hence no photo) but it was amazing to see the line of babies go nuts when she made an appearance.

This is an excellent park for young kids, not too big or exhausting with the beauty of Prospect Park just outside its walls for additional strolling.

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Posted on September 1, 2011

Restaurants »Chip Shop

383 Fifth Ave., Park Slope, Brooklyn

I epically failed to get an appetizing photo of my Chip Shop fish and chips, apologies. But even if it wasn’t photogenic, the battered cod and thick fries were very tasty.

We ordered in at a friend’s house and made a night of it, so I do think everything would have been slightly less soggy in the restaurant itself, but it properly scratch the itch we were both feeling for the British classic dish.

Between the cod, haddock, and plaice, our group ordered some of each and really, there’s not too much of a difference. All are white fish, but my cod was firm and mild.

Chip Shop boasts more English delicacies like mushy peas, fried candy bars and haggis, but it’s hard to add anything to the meal when it’s already all things fried. We did share a great comforting side of baked beans though.

Aside from the Park Slope location we ordered from, Chip Shop has a location on Atlantic Avenue.

Don’t forget the vinegar and go ahead and ask for extra tartar sauce – it’s excellent.

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Posted on April 11, 2011

Spend a Couple Hours »Brklyn Birth Classes


I couldn’t recommend the Bklyn Birth preparation classes more. Our instructor, Sabrina was understanding, open, communicative and extremely helpful. Run and taught by local midwives, it’s a no agenda, open forum that is laid back but full of pertinent information. We opted for a weekend intensive that was an easier schedule for us, but shorter, month long classes are also given.

Most of the other ladies were opting for a natural childbirth and videos (that admittedly resembled home made exorcisms) prepped us for the amazing experience. Breathing and comfort techniques were taught and practiced and perhaps most comforting was learning how to navigate the often sterile and confusing hospital landscape.

The classes take place in Park Slope and are comparable to others price wise.

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Posted on August 15, 2010

Spend a Couple Hours »Brooklyn Museum: American High Style: Fashioning a National Collection

200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn

I don’t know why the trek to the Brooklyn Museum seemed so insurmountable that I kept putting off my trip to see the American High Style exhibit. In truth it only takes about and hour and is more than worth it. If the sister exhibit at the Met is the dolled up, flashy younger sister boasting pop music, glitzy styled head pieces and films, this one is the calm, dignified older sister. It’s far larger and more spaced out than the other exhibit and features some incredible fanning Charles James, well preserved and embellished Worths, a huge amount of shoes, and more stunning prints, draping, and colors than any fashion lover could want for.

I’d heard great things about the exhibit, so was not surprised to be delighted. I was surprised, however at what a great museum it is over all. I spent most of the day on the 4th floor where they have huge recreations of old homesteads and interior design through the decades (recreated interiors are a favorite of mine in any museum). Also currently on exhibit is an inspiring Kiki Smith retrospective, the famous Judy Chicago “The Dinner Party”, a show of the jewelry of Art Smith that had my head swimming with want (many of the awesome pieces reminded me of what Grace Jones would wear), and he vibrant exhibition called Extended Family that includes work from sculptor Nick Cave, Nina Chanel Abnay, and Vadis Turner.

So, lovers of decorative arts take the 2/3 train and prepare to spend a day on the 4th floor in pure happiness. Plus! They allow non flash photography!

Click here for the rest of Brooklyn Museum: American High Style: Fashioning a National Collection

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Posted on June 27, 2010

Restaurants »Fonda

434 7th Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn

Fonda boasts a pleasant back yard and an even more pleasant menu to enjoy in these perfect summer days. From overstuffed sweet vanilla french toast to spicy chilequeles, the brunch menu offers a little something for every taste (so long as you like flavorful true Mexican cuisine) but having already partaken in some homemade breakfast tacos earlier in the day, I decided to pull a few items from the regular menu: a chunky jicama, carrot, orange, and cucumber salad with spiced sugar for dipping, a completely refreshing chilled chayote soup with apples and chives which I highly recommend if nothing else, and a white fish salad with corn tortillas that was flavorful and light. If Fonda were in my neighborhood I’d be no stranger to their deliciousness repeatedly, in fact, right now I am wanting another bowl of that soup.

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Posted on June 20, 2010

Restaurants »Flatbush Farms

76 Saint Marks Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

You’d never know it from the dark, stark exterior, but Flatbush Farms hides a sprawling, lovely back yard garden, perfect for an early brunch surrounded by Park Slope babies. The food here is simple and yummy: omelettes with fresh ingredients and sharp cheese, fluffy eggs with potatoes (which feature apples thrown in, or as my friend called them “invisible raisins”), thick slabs of bacon and over-sized banana foster pancakes that sat someplace between a pancake and banana bread. I recommend getting a stack for the table to enjoy.

While the restaurants online manifesto is an obnoxious read “The philosophy is one of simplicity, masked in a complexity matched by none. The gastronomic rogue abounds with numerous philosophies and a mash of cultures, though one aesthetic… etc” the sustainability and use of local and seasonal ingredients shines in the food.

It’s a leisurely place, where brunch can take an hour, so call friends, and get there early to start to a relaxing weekend. And don’t forget to order pancakes for the table!

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Posted on May 9, 2010

Restaurants »Stone Park Cafe

stone park cafe chickenI almost never order boring old chicken at a restaurant but I had a hunch about the menu offering at Stone Park Cafe: roasted farm chicken with homemade tagliatelle, chanterelles, and garlic jus. Oh my, if all chicken tasted like this, I'd never order anything else. It was really just perfect. Warm sourdough bread and an inviting, dimly lit, bustling environment was equally nice and I can understand why this place is a staple for my friends that just moved to the area.

They enjoyed a fresh heirloom tomato salad and Jim's cod special was also yummy. The menu is updated frequently based on what ingredients are in season. It was pretty busy the night we ate there and I do recommend reservations, but I've heard it's easy to get a seated on off hours. The two owners, Josh Foster and Josh Grinker who grew up in the neighborhood, have previously worked at Tribeca Grill and Le Bec Fin.

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Posted on September 21, 2009

Spend a Couple Hours »Michael Jackson Birthday Bash

I actually missed the memo Spike Lee was hosting a Birthday Bash for Michael Jackson at Prospect Park. From the many flickr photos and the selection of images posted on gothamist, it looks like I missed an Off the Wall good time.

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Posted on August 31, 2009

Restaurants »Al Di La

al di laThank goodness for summer Fridays. Al Di La, one of Brooklyn's most beloved and highly praised restaurants has always been on my list, but with reported epic (as in up to over two hours) waits for dinner, it never seemed like a culinary outing that was going to happen for me and my impatience. During a weekday lunchtime, however,?the antiquey, sunshiny corner spot is pretty quite and the food is still noteworthy.

I loved my mushrooms with polenta and a poached egg (pictured) and my companions' grilled cheese and short rib sandwiches were so tasty we all barreled through our dishes without thinking to offer each other a taste. We did split the irresistible fig and ricotta gelato though, a heavenly little sweet to cap off a great meal.

The beer list is short, but the choices (both from an obscure Italian brewery) were good and the wine list is long. Thankfully the kindly and cute waitress was able to help me pick a dry rose.

The atmosphere was beautiful for a lazy afternoon meal and catching up with an old friend. If the buzz of more popular dining hours leaves you spinning, stop by at an off hour to enjoy the excellent menu in peace.

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Posted on August 10, 2009